The Marmoset Monkey Page
Breeding in Captivity
· Keeping two or more dominant pairs in sight of one another may inhibit breeding.
· Offspring can stay in their natal group quite safely until the parents begin to evict them, this is noted by increased aggression and unwillingness to share food and space.
· The keeping of family units is more natural and has many advantages:
· The offspring grow more socially experienced
· Offspring help the mother with younger siblings resulting in less stress and a better condition for her
· The monkey's lives will be enriched due to social activities.
· If you have a pair of marmosets with the intention of breeding them, do remember that how they relate to any offspring produced will depend entirely on how they were brought up.
· Since offspring help observe and help with the care of younger siblings, it gives them the opportunity to learn normal parenting behaviour.
· Offspring should be left with their parents and subsequent offspring until they are at least 15 months old.
· Females younger than 24 months, that are bred seldom produce live young, and if they do, seldom succeed in rearing them. In successful births, labour averages between 1 and 2 hours with a 30-minute interval between births.
· The placenta is expelled about 1/2 an hour after the last birth. Females seen in labour during the day are more likely to be in difficulty and should be observed very closely, medical attention may be necessary.
· While nursing, females consume double the amount of their normal intake of food.
· For those contemplating breeding marmosets, you should be aware that occasionally female parents have been known to be "tail biters" in that they will actually bite off the tail tips of their offspring.
· Only if severe bleeding results or some other form of abuse, neglect or health problems occurs, should an infant be removed for hand rearing.
· Hand rearing is also a consideration when a pair produces triplets or quadruplets.
· One suggestion is that the extra infant be removed and hand fed for 24 hours, then put it back with the mother and remove another of the infants. Rotating infants is better than just choosing one for hand rearing in that they will all receive care and a normal social upbringing.
· Of course, the effectiveness of this method will depend on the behaviour of the parents towards your interference, and on whether you have the time it takes to care for such a tiny infant.
· Another important consideration in regards hand rearing is that hand reared marmosets often become extremely aggressive towards humans later in life.
· In situations where an infant has been orphaned or rejected, it may be possible to foster it onto another female which has either recently lost an infant or may have only one.
· To increase the odds of acceptance, the foster infant should be rubbed over the foster mother's body, paying special attention to her scent glands.
In addition, placing the baby in the foster mother's nest box, possibly with her own infant if available for an hour can increase the chance of acceptance.